Thursday, October 11, 2012

A Nightcap

Prompt: Take an element from the first prompt responses and use that, somehow, in the a new piece. (My element was a line from J___'s piece, "A nightcap. Isn't that an odd word.")

Time: 10 minutes


A nightcap. Isn't that an odd word. It was usually more like a nightstart or a nightpour, at least with his mother. He couldn't think of one time when she sat down to have a nightcap and the cap actually stayed on the bottle. Usually, the refrigerator would rumble four or five times at least, ice plinking down into her newly empty cup. Then there would be a silence until the light creak of her footsteps on the stairs. Then silence again, until her lavender hair brushed his face, her sour breath mixing with the smells of summer.

Tonight was no different. At eight on the dot, she sent him up to bed. He climbed the stairs alone, wiggling his toes down into the worn carpet rectangle on each step before lifting his foot to the next. It lasted longer that way.

He would rather stay down with her, in the soft lamplight, snuggled under blankets with an ear pressed to the radio. Well, maybe not right against it. She only let him do that when she had already started, maybe one or two in. But with each step up the stairs, the air grew colder and the house grew darker, and when he reached the landing, he knew he was the last little boy left in the whole world.

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